Frans Nielsen fashioned 17 goals -- including a pair of shorthanded tallies -- to go along with 24 helpers and 15 points total on the man advantage this past season. However, even with the special-teams guru in tow, the Red Wings ranked 27th on the power play and just outside the top half of the league on the penalty kill at 80.9 percent. The no-move clause in Nielsen's contract ensured that he wouldn't be exposed to the Golden Knights in the expansion draft, and if all goes well, the Dane should stay in Motown through the 2021-22 campaign at an annual cost of $5.25 million. Fantasy owners considering Nielsen should look past his career-worst minus-19 rating from last year, as that was a byproduct of being on a team that struggled due to inexperienced defensemen and a raft of injuries. After spending 10 years with the Islanders, Nielsen transitioned rather seamlessly in Detroit in terms of offensive productivity, averaging .52 points per game, and you can bet the center won't be lost on the fantasy populace anytime soon.
Nielsen's contract with the Red Wings contains a no-move clause, which explains why he won't be exposed to Vegas in Wednesday's expansion draft, MLive.com reports. Even if Nielsen didn't have the no-move stipulation, something tells us the Wings faithful would be none too pleased if the do-it-all center limited his tenure to one season following the procurement of a six-year, $31.5 million contract last summer. The Danish pivot recorded 17 goals, 24 assists and 17 special-teams points for the 2016-17 campaign, and any prospective fantasy shareholder of Nielsen should find solace in the fact that the versatile forward did all of that damage in a down year for the Wings as a whole; their minus-37 goal differential was the worst in the Atlantic Division.
Nielsen posted his 17th goal of the season in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss against the Canadiens. Nielsen managed just one point in his first nine games in the month of March, but he has picked up the pace with three goals and eight points over his past 10 outings. He has been very prideful despite the fact the Red Wings have long since been eliminated from the playoff chase.
Nielsen opened the scoring in Monday's 5-4 shootout win over the Senators. He'd ultimately get denied in the shootout sequence, but those don't count for most owners anyway. The Danish pivot has points in three straight games and 10 shots over the last two. It's always nice to see a player finishing strong even when his team is out of playoff contention.
Nielsen notched the game's opening goal and a power-play assist in a 5-3 loss to Tampa on Thursday. The owner of a mere four points in the 15 games since his last multi-point effort, Nielsen needed this one badly. His first season in Detroit has certainly been a tough one, as he's still a couple points short of hitting 40 -- a mark he reached with ease in five straight (non-lockout-shortened) seasons prior to this one. Nielsen hasn't exactly been the ideal replacement for Pavel Datsyuk in the Motor City.
Nielsen scored two first-period goals (one on the power play) during Tuesday's win over Vancouver. The first-year Wing is having a poor fantasy campaign with just 13 goals and 30 points through 58 games. However, now up to three goals, four points and 14 shots over his past four outings, perhaps the veteran pivot is turning the corner. It's still likely best to leave Nielsen to deeper seasonal leagues at this stage of the game, though.
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